Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.
When I am working with my clients, I’m not just working on a tight shoulder or sore hip. I’m working on someone who has a complicated relationship with their mother, a stressful day job, a long commute, a former Division II college athlete, someone who’s just suffered a loss of a loved one. Human beings are complicated and human bodies can be puzzling, but the two can never be separate.
When I check-in with my clients at the beginning of a session, thats when the work really begins, not just when they’re on the table. I’m noticing posture, body language, tone and inflection, all of these give clues to where they’re at mentally and physically.
In The US we’ve been conditioned to separate the two. We’re told not to let our emotions show, to hide our feelings, not to let our opponents know what were thinking, etc I believe that while those mantras were meant to help in particular situations, they’ve become ingrained and as such we have disconnected from being able to recognise the interplay between our bodies and our thoughts and feelings.
By recognizing that everything is connected I am better able to help my clients each session.